This article is part of our Healthy Body Healthy Mind series
by Natalie Hudson
Yoga can add such amazing benefits to your daily life by releasing stress, helping you stay focused, regulating your nervous system and making you calmer. However with little ones it is often challenging finding the time to do something for yourself. As a yoga teacher with two young children under 4 I find that I have to adapt my yoga to suit my daily life so by just doing the following short sequence whenever I find the time can make a hard day a lot better! Yoga is often seen as “just doing some poses” but it offers so much more. We call these yoga tools so you can do postures, breathing techniques, visualizations, sound (chanting). These are all elements of yoga. Try whatever you feel benefits you – you might surprise yourself! (NB – please do not attempt any of these if you are pregnant or post natal 6-8 weeks, these sequences are designed for healthy non-injured adults) You can do these when the kids are having a day sleep or at night when they have gone to bed, even if it is only once a week. Or include the kids as well and make it family time. Just make sure you schedule in yoga mum time every week and set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget. And make sure you stick to it – no excuses!
Lounge Room Yoga
1. Stand on a mat legs hip distance apart. As you inhale, raise your arms in front of you up to the ceiling, then exhale and start lowering your arms to the side of your body. Try to allow the breath to lead the movement, so focus on your breath. Do for 5 x rounds, you can also raise arms up from your side, whatever feels most comfortable. Remember no tensing – we are trying to release tension.
2. Come down on all fours onto a mat, legs hip distance apart and hands flat on floor shoulder width apart. Try not to lock elbows, keep them loose especially if you are hypermobile which a lot of women are. Include the kids if you want to by inviting them to be an animal. If you have a baby (non crawling one) lay them at the top of the mat on a folded blanket so they can see you. Keeping your back level, inhale through the nose, lifting your head up but not locking the neck. Then exhaling, lower your bottom to your feet stretching your arms in front of you and bring your forehead to rest on the flour. Stay for one breath, then repeat
Time is of the essence in motherhood, my hot showers at night allow me some me time!! Allow the hot water to run down your back and do some simple raised arm movements, alternating each arm. Then intertwine your hands and push them forward so your upper back stretches out. Bring your arms behind you and intertwine your hands again. Draw your the hands down to your lower back so the chest is allowed to expand.
Natalie Hudson is a Prenatal Yoga teacher at The Yoga Garden Sydney. She has been teaching yoga for 7 years and prenatal yoga for 4 years and has a keen interest in this area post having her first child in 2009. She is fully qualified 200 hr Yoga Alliance and 2 year Yoga Institute Teacher Certificate (KHYF). She teaches in the traditional of the great teacher Krishnamcharya known as viniyoga – applying the yoga to the individual needs of the student. To see all her articles, click here.